Terro is a popular bait against ants and other common nuisance pests that prefer to eat sweet food materials and get attracted to boric acid or borate.
Do Ants Take Terro Back To The Nest? Ants take Terro back to the nest to feed colony members and store the granules for future use. It works well to kill the colony, as it is a slow-acting poison and takes a few days to react in their digestive system. It can kill a wide range of ants as these are attracted to boric acid baits prepared with sweet food.
You can also prepare a homemade ant bait at home by mixing the boric acid with sweet food, but the boric acid needs to be added in smaller quantities, as its unpleasant and toxic odor can repel ants.
Why do ants take Terro back to the nest?
Ant baits are prepared by mixing the toxic substances with some sweet food particles that can be used to attract insects towards it for eating purposes.
In the same way, Terro is prepared from boric acid, which is used as an active ingredient and involved in killing the nuisance pests hidden in narrow spaces of the house.
Moreover, ants take it back to the nest because it is considered a food source by them, as some sugar granules are mixed with boric acid to prepare a liquid bait.
They take the bait back to their nests to feed the colony members, who depend entirely on foraging members for their nutrition.
Some of the inactive members of the colony, like larvae, cannot leave the mounds or perform any movement to go out and collect food for themselves.
Accordingly, the active members or workers have to go and find plenty of food to meet the energy requirements of the whole colony containing inactive males.
In addition, the queens also spend their whole lives within a nest after mating and laying eggs, so they also need food and nutrition from foraging ants to reproduce.
Therefore, you can think of ants as the foragers or workers if they are bringing the bait back to their mounds, as they are responsible for feeding the whole colony.
How do ants take Terro back to the nest?
Ants can carry the food particles back to their nests through different means as their bodies can deal with light or heavy loads.
They can carry solid baits by holding the particles between their mandibles, loading them on the back, and storing them in their crops.
Terro liquid baits are easier to carry because they do not contain bigger chunks of food particles that need to be carried back by hauling on their bodies.
They can easily consume liquid material from packaging having a small opening at one end and leave the station from the opening.
This liquid bait can be stored in their abdomens as they have two stomachs that are separately involved in the digestion and storage of extra food.
Accordingly, the bait can remain in their bellies without being digested for many days, which makes it effective against insects because it provides time for ants to pass it down to the colony.
The foragers consume the bait and return to their mounds to transfer the material stored in crops to inactive members through regurgitation.
This way, they spread poison to all the colony members, making them die at once when the boric acid reacts and causes digestion issues.
What type of ants take Terro back to the nest?
Most of the common household ants are attracted to the Terro baits because their ingredients or chemical composition seems pleasant to these little creatures.
A wide range of insects can be targeted by using Terro as it acts with a broad range and kills a large number of insects crawling indoors and outdoors.
It can attract acrobat, argentine, and Allegheny ants that are usually drawn toward sweet food items due to their preferences for the consumption of carbohydrates.
Moreover, you can see pavement, little black, and crazy ants moving inside the bait stations in a short time when you make a small opening by snapping off the station.
Some other sugar-loving insects, including big-headed, ghost, odorous house, thief, pyramid, and white-footed ants, are also known to get attracted and take the bait back to their colonies.
However, fire and carpenter ants avoid boric acid baits and are not attracted to Terro, in addition to pharaoh and harvester ants, as they do not find it pleasant enough to eat and take back.
Accordingly, you have to look for other suitable natural or chemical baits for these species, but it can effectively act on a large number of ant species and help get rid of them.
Can ants become immune to Terro?
Terro is quite an effective bait against the nuisance pests that get attracted to boric acid or sweet food items because it takes time to react.
It is not possible for ant species to become immune to Terro liquid baits because they cannot be resistant to borax or boric acid and consume it.
They have to die after consumption of bait, so the resistance cannot be developed in the next generation as the whole colony dies at once with a difference of a few hours or days.
It can efficiently kill the newly produced larvae and the older queen ants, particularly worker ants known to carry the bait back to the nests.
So, they can only live for a few days, which is not sufficient for these insects to make their next generations resistant to bait or avoid its toxic effect on the current population.
What happens to ants when they eat Terro?
Terro is a slow-acting poison and takes more time to kill a colony, but it is a positive aspect of the bait because it can help get rid of the whole colony.
It gives time for workers to bring the bait back to their nests and allow other members to ingest the bait by transferring the food from the crop to their mouths.
In addition, its active ingredient, boric acid, takes a few days to react within a stomach and remains stored in the abdomen for many days without reacting.
These insects can hold the poison for at least 2 to 3 days in their crops and can survive for 7 to 10 days at maximum without reacting to the toxic boric acid.
However, the toxic substance ultimately reacts after a few days when the foragers have transferred the stored liquid back to their colony and fed the larvae and queen with it.
Moreover, this toxic substance disturbs their stomach functions and interferes with the nervous system, a crucial system of an insect.
The boric acid can potentially kill the ants even when they eat only a tiny amount of Terro. It causes poisoning in their stomach and disruption of the digestion processes.